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A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data

  • Philippe Février

    ()

  • Michael Visser

    ()

This paper reports the results of an experiment in which subjects had to buy real products in 5 different budget/price situations. Subjects were randomly drawn from the population of a medium-sized French city, and some of their socio-economic characteristics were recorded. We check the consistency of product choices with the Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preferences (GARP), and find that 29% of the subjects are GARP-inconsistent. This inconsistency rate is slightly lower than the ones found in comparable studies. A possible explanation for our lower rate of GARP violations might be that the subjects in our study were confronted with less budget/price situations. In looking for determinants of the GARP violations, we find that gender, the size of the household, the degree of switching between different products, and the times spent on performing experimental tasks have significant impacts on the probability of GARP-inconsistency. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1026266122863
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 93-114

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:93-114
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  1. Battalio, Raymond C & Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr & Kagel, John H, 1987. "Tests of Competing Theories of Consumer Choice and the Representative Consumer Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 842-56, December.
  2. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-78, July.
  3. Sippel, Reinhard, 1997. "An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1431-44, September.
  4. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
  5. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  7. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  8. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2000. "AStudyof Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Working Papers 2000-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. John Kagel & Leonard Green & Raymond Battalio, 1995. "Economic choice theory. an experimental analysis of animal behavior," Framed Field Experiments 00166, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Reinhard Sippel, 1996. "A Note on the Power of Revealed Preference Tests with Afriat Inefficiency," Discussion Paper Serie A 303 DP No. A--528, University of Bonn, Germany.
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